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The former Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice was hired by a small Pennsylvania town as their sole police officer Tuesday evening.
Timothy Loehmann, the ex-Cleveland police officer that was responsible for shooting Tamir Rice within two seconds of exiting his patrol car, was sworn in Tuesday night as the sole police officer for the rural town of Tioga, Pennsylvania.
Tioga has a population of approximately 700 people with 99% of residents being white, according to the U.S. Census.
Mayor David Wilcox told WIVB that he had nothing to do with the hiring process.
News of Loehmann’s hire angered many in the town as well as those across the nation as the news hit the internet.
Mother of Tamir Rice responds
“The system is broken, because police reform is actually not working. You would hire someone knowing he has murdered a 12-year-old child. How dare you! How dare you do it,” Samaria Rice, Tamir Rice’s mother, told 19 News.
“He is a bad apple for anybody’s police department across the country,” she said.
As of Thursday morning, Tioga Borough Council President Steve Hazlett posted on his Facebook page that Loehmann had withdrawn his application.
A post of Hazlett’s from 2015 surfaced after the news of Loehmann’s hiring where the council president called Rice “dumb enough to pull a fake gun, dumb enough to get shot…”.
Officers Hired By Other Departments After Being Fired
Loehmann was fired by the Cleveland Police Department in 2017, three years after the killing of Rice, for providing false information on his job application, not for killing a child. He appealed his termination all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court in April 2021, but the state’s highest court declined to hear the case.
Loehmann was hired by another police department in Ohio in 2018 and withdrew his application within days, similar to what took place in Tioga, after Samaria Rice and others protested his hire.
In 2016, the Tamir Rice family was paid $6 million in a lawsuit settlement with the city of Cleveland.
The Justice Department looked at the Rice shooting and determined in 2020 that they would not bring federal criminal charges against Loehmann and his partner for the killing of Rice, saying video of the shooting was of too poor quality for prosecutors to conclusively establish what happened.
Loehmann’s hire as a police officer in a different department is similar to ex-Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby, who in 2016 shot and killed Terence Crutcher during a routine traffic stop while his hands were in the air.
Shelby was charged and tried for manslaughter before being acquitted in May of 2017. A jury of her peers stated that she should never be a patrol officer again, yet was hired by Tulsa law enforcement officials to train other officers in how to manage similar incidents.